Lost in the Moment
If you read my last post I gave a quick intro to the philosophy of Stoicism. I mention it because some of what I am going to share is a result of my adoption of Stoic practices in my day to day living. Not much but some of this story was influenced by a quote from my morning exercise from Sunday. I have adopted a certain amount of discipline in bettering myself in every aspect of my life on a daily basic in some form (Spirit, Soul & Body). I develop my Spirit with the practice and study of my Faith, my Soul with the practice and study of Philosophy, and my Body with the practice of healthy eating and regular activity. On Sunday morning as a part of my morning routine I was reading my morning Stoic Exercise and it had this quote!
"The Pythagoreans bid us in the morning look to the heavens that we may be reminded of those bodies which continually do the same things and in the same manner perform their work, and also be reminded of their purity and nudity. For there is no veil over a star." - Marcus Aurelius (Meditations XI.27)
Since it was too late to enjoy the stars and watch the sun rise when I was reading this quote I made a plan. I adore the stars and the sun set leading up to it would be icing on the cake. After dinner I drove out about 15 miles form my home to get away from the light pollution so that after the sun set I could really enjoy the stars. Upon finding somewhere nice to watch the sunset I took out my camera only to realize that I totally forgot to bring my SD card which meant no pictures with my camera. That being the case I grabbed my phone to at least try and take a couple pictures of the lovely sunset. I took off my case because sometimes it gets in my way when I way when I am taking pictures. Upon removing my phone's wallet case I put it on top of my car and proceeded to take some pictures and just enjoy the sunset. While out there I realized my cell signal was not super strong and I was expecting a phone call so I decided to drive a little closer to civilization to look at the stars but still be able to talk on the phone. Now you may see where this is going but I proceeded to get in my car and drive away to find a new spot with a signal and a view for the stars. In the process I may have forgotten something. Of course I didn't realize that I had forgotten it until I had found the spot I was going to look at the stars. At that point I went to put my case on only to find it was not in my car. Then I had a revelation of where my phone case was when I last remembered seeing it! 😳 At that point my friend texted me they would be calling in 10 minutes! I crossed my fingers that my signal would be strong enough and drove back to where I watched the sunset. Thankfully it was strong enough and I enjoyed my conversation with my friend while searching where I was parked and a little ways down the road. Like I said my phone case is a wallet case... It contains my drivers licence and my debit card so It was kinda important to find it. I was out there for quite a while but had no luck finding it. I decided to not let it steal my peace and worst case scenario is that I would have to cancel my card and order a replacement for everything in the case. Frustrating but not earth shattering. I went home and went to bed. At about 4:45 the next morning I woke up unable to fall asleep again. I figured if I wasn't going to get back to sleep I might as well be productive and try to find my wallet. So I woke my mom up long enough to tell her where I was going and what I was doing. Then drove back out to where I was the night before. I put on some music and began to walk up and down this beautiful road as the sun began to rise on a new day.
It was amazing to watch the sun come up after watching the sun set on the same night in the same place. It was actually incredible to experience such a beautiful moment even though it was because I lost something. But sometimes the strangest circumstances can take you somewhere you would never imagine so you can experience a moment you would never have had any other way. I took that moment to really do what was said in my quote from the day before. To reflect on the purity of the moment! The consistency of the universe the order of the sun setting and rising. The beauty of each moment if we just take the time to see it. I am thankful for a different passage as well this is one of scripture inscribed on my heart from years of reading the bible.
"A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them." (Proverbs 16:9, Amplified)
I don't think I could have planned this particular moment in my life but I see how as I planned my way as I journey through my life the Lord's direction has directed and established my steps. In the process He has given me these beautiful moments that I truly cherish. At about 6 am the sun was really up and having little success in finding my phone case I decided to drive down the road a little further just to check and as I was driving away I saw my phone case! I took a moment to turn around and then pull off the road to go grab my case and found it in tack and still containing all the wallet contents! Hooray! I proceed to jump into my car and go to pull out to find that in my haste to grab my case I had pulled a little too far into the very soft shoulder and I was now quite literally stuck in the mud! What are the chances? Right? Well although it was inconvenient it was actually just fine! Haha! I didn't have to be work by any specific time and I have roadside assistance. So I had the job of sitting in my car to just wait for roadside assistance to come and pull me out of the mud! My brother actually called me and we got to talk on the phone which was kinda great! Because I hadn't talked to him in a while and it was great to catch up with him. About 45 mins later I was back on the road my car a little muddy but no worse for wear beyond that and I actually made it to work at a reasonable time. So yay!
I hope that on some occasion you get the change to enjoy the Sunset, Stars & Sunrise in the same place some time. I also hope you take any craziness that may have brought you to the moment or follow that moment in stride and find the beauty of the experience. Don't dwell what goes wrong especially if it is out of your control! The only thing we can control is how we respond to the things outside of our control. So remember that next time your tire blows and just go with the flow. You never know what that moment will give you the opportunity to enjoy!